I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables into my family’s diet. Most of my family enjoys the bags of frozen, steamable broccoli Aldi sells year round. I add butter and Parmesan cheese to it, or I stir in a spoonful of jarred cheese sauce to liven it up.
But every so often I notice Aldi selling frozen broccoli or cauliflower with its own cheese sauce already added. When this duo was in stores recently, I picked up one bag of each to try at home.
Season’s Choice Broccoli Bake or Cauliflower Bake cost $3.99 each for a 24-oz. package at the time of publication.
The packages describe these as either broccoli or cauliflower “with cheese and light cream sauce.” They’re both a product of France, and each bag contains about six 1-cup servings (113-114 grams).
If you’re watching out for allergens, both of these contain milk.
Each of these consists of frozen individual vegetable florets — either broccoli or cauliflower — coated with a layer of frozen cheese sauce. They pour right out of the bag and can easily be arranged in a baking dish.
These can be prepared in a conventional oven or in the microwave, and they cook from frozen. Either way, these take a little time but aren’t too bad. They don’t cook as quickly as Aldi’s plain steamable broccoli that’s done after 5-7 minutes in the microwave.
I opted to bake both of these in the oven.
To bake, empty the contents into an ovenproof dish and bake on the middle rack of a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
To microwave, empty the contents into a shallow microwave dish. Cover with film and pierce several times. Cook for 7 minutes, stir, replace the film, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
I thought these dishes were both all right. The veggies are tender, and there is a generous amount of sauce. The sauce is a little on the runny side, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. I didn’t try this, but you might be able to doctor these up some by sprinkling bread crumbs or even a bit of shredded cheese on top.
My family, on the other hand, didn’t like these as much. Several members are big broccoli fans, too, but they didn’t care for the taste or texture of the cheese sauce and instead prefer regular cooked broccoli with a couple of spoonfuls of Cheese Whiz-style sauce stirred in. I would be open to buying these again, but I’m going to be the only one in the house really eating them. I slightly prefer the broccoli one, which seems to have a somewhat thicker cheese sauce.
Read on for more details on each type of bake.
Season’s Choice Broccoli Bake
Ingredients are: broccoli, water, half and half, rice flour, processing emmental cheese, mozzarella cheese, emmental cheese, sunflower oil, skimmed milk powder, sugar, salt garlic powder, natural flavors, white pepper, and nutmeg.
A 1-cup serving has 90 calories, 5 grams of total fat (6% DV), 2.01 grams of saturated fat (10% DV), 10 mg of cholesterol (3% DV), 260 mg of sodium (11% DV), 8 grams of total carbohydrates (3% DV), 3 grams of dietary fiber (11% DV), 3 grams of total sugars, less than 1 gram of added sugars (1% DV), and 4 grams of protein.
Season’s Choice Cauliflower Bake
Ingredients are: cauliflower, water, white cheddar, half and half, sunflower oil, skimmed milk powder, rice flour, salt, natural flavors, and white pepper.
A 1-cup serving has 100 calories, 6 grams of total fat (8% DV), 2.5 grams of saturated fat (13% DV), 15 mg of cholesterol (5% DV), 300 mg of sodium (13% DV), 6 grams of total carbohydrates (2% DV), 3 grams of total sugars, no added sugars, and 4 grams of protein.
Season’s Choice Broccoli Bake and Cauliflower Bake are sold frozen and heat easily in the oven or microwave. The veggies cook up tender, and there is plenty of cheese sauce, although it’s on the runny side. These might benefit from doctoring up with bread crumbs, but otherwise they’re decent.